Self-Study Course Details
Course Description

Business environmental monitoring gathers internal and external data that could affect a company. Business leaders and financial analysts can examine that data to identify implications for their company and develop strategies for those implications. These strategies often mitigate threats or capture opportunities. Companies that better understand their business environment can anticipate and plan for changes, build more accurate financial projections, and allocate resources more effectively. 

This course focuses on Finance's role in environmental analysis. You'll learn the types of data that should be monitored by Finance.  The course then explains popular models for analyzing that data. 

You'll learn:

  • The steps in the environmental monitoring cycle
  • The basics and uses of common-size analysis in environmental monitoring
  • What to analyze: both internal and external, and from the industry level to the customer level
  • Sources of financial business environment information
  • Models to organize and synthesize environmental information for planning and decision-making

This course is useful for business leaders and financial staff who are involved in any of these processes:

  • Strategic planning
  • Budgeting, financial projects, and financial modeling
  • Identifying best practices and benchmarks
  • Product and customer profitability analysis
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Tax planning
  • Setting owners' distributions or dividends
Learning Objectives
  • Recognize models used in business environmental analysis
  • Recall how to perform common-size financial analysis
  • Identify sources of environmental information
  • None
Advanced Preparation


Author Details
  • Robert Stephens
    Robert Stephens

    Rob Stephens is the Founder of CFO Perspective, which provides continuing education courses for CPAs and financial management courses for business advisors and staff. He has been quoted in Forbes, U.S. News and World Report, Business Insider, Business News Daily, and many other news sources. Rob has a 25-year career that includes serving as CFO for two banks and a health clinic system. He was also Director of Operations at a $4 Billion bank and SVP of Finance of a $2 Billion credit union. Rob is an adjunct instructor for the MBA program at Gonzaga University.

    Rob holds a Masters of Science in Personal Financial Planning and a Graduate Certificate in Financial Therapy from Kansas State University. He received a B.A. in Business Administration from the University of Washington and is a CPA.

NASBA Sponsor
  • National Registry of CPE Sponsors for the QAS self-study delivery method
    Encoursa is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website:


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    Self-Study: CPE certificates will be accessible through your dashboard immediately after passing the qualified assessment.

    For specific instructions on accessing your CPE, please see our FAQ section on our support page.

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